Friday, January 8, 2010

Christmas Treats

I had forgotten that I was going to post some of the Christmas recipes that I used this year until I had an email asking where they were! Having a four month old means I don't have the free time I used to, but I get around to things eventually!

White Chocolate & Cranberry Pudding
375g white chocolate melts
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
275g jar whole-berry cranberry sauce
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 cup self-raising flour
1/2 cup milk
3 x 170g packets dried cranberries (craisins)

1. Brush a 6-cup pudding basin with melted butter, refrigerate for 5 minutes, then rebrush with more butter. Line base of basin with baking paper. Put half the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl and position over a pan of simmering water. Stir until melted and smooth. Set aside. Coarsely chop remaining chocolate.

2. Using an electric mixer beat butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in melted chocolate. Add cranberry sauce and stir until combined. Sift flours over mixture, add milk, dried cranberries and well chopped chocolate. Stir until well combined. Spoon mixture into prepared basin and smooth top with the back of a wet spoon.

3. Cut a round of baking paper to cover top of pudding and lay it over mixture. Cut a large sheet of baking paper and a large sheet of foil. Lay foil on top of paper and makea pleat in the centre. Put paper ide down on top of pudding, then tie around rim of basin with string to secure. Make a strong loop that runs from one side of the basin to the other, to help ease basin in and out of pan.

4. Put a trivet or upturned saucer in a large heavy based pan and stand basin on top. Add enough boiling water to come halfway up side of basin. Cover pan with a tight-fitting lid, bring to the boil and cook for 3-31/2 hours, replenishing with boiling water as pudding cooks. Remove pudding and stand for 30 minutes before turning out, or leave to coll completely before storing.

I served the pudding with brandy custard and it was a lovely alternative to plum pudding.

Mixed Pea & Bean Salad
3 cups fresh peas
300g sugar snap peas, halved
200g butter beans, trimmed
50g packet broad beans, defrosted & peeled
4 shallots, finely chopped
1/4 cup (60ml) lemon juice
1/4 cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
250g feta, crumbled
1 cup mint leaves

1. Cook peas, sugar snap peas and butter beans in a large saucepan of salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Add broad beans and cook for a further 1 minute or until bright green and tender crisp. Refresh under cold running water. Drain well.

2. Combine shallots, lemon juice and oil in a small bowl. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over pea mixture; gently toss.

3. Add the feta and mint and gently toss to combine. Spoon into a serving bowl and serve immediately.

I made this to accompany the prawns and ham that we had on Christmas day and it was a lovely summer salad that wasn't too heavy. The recipe serves 12 so I reduced the quantity by half, except for the dressing, as I knew we wouldn't need that much.

I may post a few more later on - depending on whether I have the time!

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